This budget represents the Mid-Region Council of Governments' continued commitment to improving the quality of life in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia Counties. It has been my pleasure serving as your Executive Director, and I look forward to working with the Board of Directors to implement a fiscally responsible budget for fiscal year 2013. Together, we will find creative ways to serve the region while making budget dollars stretch farther.
During this fiscal year, the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization will implement the 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and develop the 2014 – 2019 Transportation Improvement Plan. Additionally, our staff will undertake a major update to the Future Albuquerque Area Bicycles and Streets document to incorporate transit, park and ride, and complete streets concepts. The 2010 Census also requires that we update the boundary of the Metropolitan Planning Area, which includes coordination with Valencia County, Sandia Pueblo, Edgewood, and others.
In our rural areas, we will complete our assistance to the Los Lunas Transportation Corridor Study, including acquisition of right-of-way parcels. We will also collect data for a regional travel survey, last done in 1991, so that we might better understand current and future regional commuting patterns.
Our economic development program is particularly important at a time when we are working to build our regional economy. The MRCOG is implementing one of five innovation center grants in the Southwest region. The grants were made to select organizations which demonstrated innovative economic development initiatives. The MRCOG grant focuses on identifying clusters of innovation such as energy production, developing live-work scenarios, marketing the region through the public-private Metro New Mexico Development Alliance, and developing local food entrepreneurs through the Agriculture Collaborative and the LandLink Initiative.
Through our workforce development program, we're building stronger relationships with industry groups, trade associations, and schools to better understand job market trends and respond with more customized services. We would like to see businesses better utilize our services and facilities.
During this past year, I was challenged by the board to reach out to all the communities in the region and help them better understand the planning support the MRCOG offers. We participated in numerous meetings with elected officials and planning staff, gave presentations, and created a brochure that succinctly describes our programs. This outreach effort will continue in FY13.
I will work with the members of the board to continue to support regionalism, where possible. We greatly appreciate the financial support of our member agencies, and please let us know how we may serve you better.
Dewey V. Cave, Executive Director